The Newspapers Owners’ Association of Bangladesh (NOAB) had filed a writ petition seeking a stay on the publication of the Gazette notification of the Ninth Wage Board for journalists as it did not want to pay the journalists properly, said Attorney General Mahbubey Alam to the Appellate Division.
The attorney general said this to the Appellate Division bench led by Judge Sayed Mahmud Hossain during a hearing on Monday (Aug 19) on a petition filed by the government seeking a stay on a High Court order to maintain status quo on publication of Gazette notification to implement the recommendation of 9th wage board for journalists.
Attorney General Mahbubey Alam stood for the state while senior Advocate AF Hassan Arif moved for NOAB.
During the hearing, the attorney general said that NOAB Matiur Rahman president, also the editor of Daily Prothom Alo, had filed the writ petition as the newspaper owners did not wish the pay the journalists properly.
The Supreme Court at one point observed that media owners had no existence of their own without journalists.
NOAB’s lawyer then told the court that black and white newspapers would be published if the journalists did not wish to work.
After hearing the arguments presented from both sides, the Supreme Court set Tuesday (Aug 20) to issue the order on the writ filed by NOAB.
On Aug 6, the High Court issued an order to maintain a status quo for two months on publication of gazette notification on implementing the recommendations of 9th wage board for journalists.
The court also issued a rule asking why it should not be declared illegal to not take into account the objections and recommendations made by NOAB.
The court has sought responses to the rule from the cabinet secretary, information secretary, labour secretary and Wage Board Chairman Nijamul Haque within four weeks.
The bench of Justice Obaidul Hassan and Justice Mohammad Ali issued the status-quo after hearing a petition filed by Matiur Rahman, president of Newspaper Owners Association of Bangladesh (NOAB), on August 5.
On Aug 14, the Supreme Court chamber judge fixed Aug 19 to hear a government appeal against the status quo issued by HC.